Alibaba-affiliated Ant Financial Services Group today unveiled a wealth-management app providing Chinese consumers with simpler access to the company’s growing roster of investment products, including more than 900 commission-free funds.
Debuting today, the Ant Fortune app is set up as a one-stop platform for China’s vast population of ordinary consumers who have limited options when it comes to money management and investment. The app integrates Ant Financial’s popular money market fund, Yu’e Bao, and thousands of products available through Zhao Cai Bao, Ant’s open platform for third-party financial institutions.
Leiming Yuan, General Manager of Ant Financial’s wealth management unit, said some 70 percent of Chinese citizens do not buy financial products because “most financial products in the market are designed for high-net investors and portfolio management requires both time and expertise.
“Ant Fortune aims to provide investment options for those who are left out by the current wealth management products by lowering the entry threshold, and for those who have little time or know-how to grow wealth,” Yuan said in a statement.
Available for IOS and Android mobile devices, the app offers access to more than 900 fund products offered by over 80 banks, asset management firms and Chinese fund companies through Ant Financial’s collaboration with Fund123.cn. All funds initially will be sold on a no-load basis, which means users pay no sales commissions to invest.
“We do not charge commission for the fund products as we launch Ant Fortune, simply to make sure that those who lack money to build a large portfolio have equal and fair access to manage their wealth,” Yuan said. “The entry requirement for buying financial products on Ant Fortune will remain low.”
The Ant Fortune app will also contain stock-market information for bourses in Shenzhen, Shanghai, and Hong Kong as well as for the Nasdaq exchange in the U.S.
Ant Financial and Nasdaq announced today they will jointly provide, at no charge to Ant Fortune users, trading information for all Nasdaq-listed stocks via Nasdaq Last Sale (NLS) real-time data. “We now operate in a global economy where every second matters and our goal is to help Ant Fortune users make timelier and better informed investment decisions,” said Salil Donde, executive vice president of Nasdaq Global Information Services, in a statement.
Ant Financial’s Yuan said his company is working on making additional investments available through Ant Fortune that will offer consumers exposure to overseas markets such as Hong Kong and the U.S.
Yu’e Bao, China’s largest money market fund, and Zhao Cai Bao now have more than 200 million users, according to Ant Financial.
Launched in 2014, Zhao Cai Bao is a Web-based sales platform for third-party financial institutions. Products offered include loans for small-and medium-sized businesses, universal insurance and structured funds. Through July, more than RMB 260 billion ($40.69 billion) had been invested through Zhao Cai Bao, according to Ant Financial.